I'm going to take you on a ride through history to understand why this is, unfortunately, business as usual - and not new.
Let's start with the Salem Witch Trials. Some history students while I was at school did a research project on the Salem Witch Trials which showed
that the majority of those who were accused were landowners along the main road. And the accuser was someone who had been rebuffed when they tried to
buy that land. Abuse of power maybe? People are basically nasty and selfish, so this shouldn't be a surprise. This is why I have NO sympathy or
tolerance for those who say "I'm not a terrorist/criminal/ethnicity/etc., I have nothing to worry about." Yes, you do. (Sorry, history degrees
make you lose faith in mankind. Divine Intervention is the only explanation for mankind not being extinct yet.)
Ok, let's move forward to after the American Revolution and the election of John Adams as president. He didn't like Thomas Jefferson very much and
needed something to help keep him in line. So he passed the first precursor of the Patriot Act - The Alien Sedition Act - which among other things,
made criticism of the president a crime. Congressman Matthew Lyon of Vermont found himself in jail for criticizing Mr. Adams. Seems Vermont causes
trouble for all power-mad presidents. The U.S. Supreme Court was made up of real Patriots who had fought in the Revolution and they took unkindly to
this abomination of legislation, striking it down rather quickly for a court. Mind you, this is the very definition of Activist Judiciary, mind you.
Thank GOD they were activists. Of course, you could also escape this nonsense by moving westward into Indian Country.
Let's look a little bit further to the U.S. Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln, a very popular historical figure suspended habeaus
corpus during the entirity of the Civil War into the post-war period. Habeaus Corpus is your right not to be held without charges. The instances of
his use of this are too numerous to list. Here, once again, if you were very lucky, you could go to California as did several rather famous American
Authors of that era. Remember, only Walt Whitman served when it comes to the giants of American Authors of that time frame.
This led us into Reconstruction and the Gilded Age. The corruption of that era makes anyone's head hurt. One of the things that did occur was that
the abuses by the robber barons became intolerable leading to the Mining and Railroad Wars. Never heard of them? Yeah, that is suppressed history.
The Miners and Railroad workers involved themselves in what would be termed 'acts of domestic terrorism' in order to secure things like workplace
safety. You don't want to hear the stories of coal miners before unions existed. We'll come back to those 'acts of domestic terrorism'.
Back to the Gilded Age - you have another interesting thing here in that the 'Almighty Dollar' became worshiped by the vast majority, and charity
was frowned upon if it came from government. Sound familiar? Well, this led to one of the worst depressions in world history (the U.S. is not an
island) - the 1890s depression. This was the Great Depression until the 1930s. Runaway inflation, homelessness, and economic shifts from an
agricultural to an industrial economy. Now, this led to the formation of the Populist Movement which, in turn, brought us such figures as Theodore
Roosevelt. He was usurped by the Republicans.
Along about the 1910s there was the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. This scared the powers of the world into some of the silliest laws ever - very
reflective of the Patriot Act. Let's see, where do I start? They made it illegal to protest a war, they made it treasonous to stop or slow work.
They also renamed "sauerkraut" to "freedomkraut" - people have always been idiots.
The powers-that-be used the double whammies of 'domestic acts of terror' by the labor leaders and their opponents (The owners were just as, if not
more, guilty if you study the history - but they rarely paid a price
and, the dangers of 'bolshevism' to jail all kinds of undesirables. It just
got worse through the 1920s and 1930s. There were even issues during WWII, but the propaganda machine for WWII was much more effective and labor
tried to work with the government -but one little known fact is that during the 1930s and 1940s there were many Americans who migrated to the Soviet
Union and elsewhere. Strange, but true. Of course, every place was bad during that era.
The 1920s also saw the rise of G-Men due to Prohibition. They got to do all kinds of things that would be considered less than constitutional and
were never held up over it.
Let's jump forward to the later 1940s, strangely, everyone was more afraid of communists than fascists who had been successful. Well, everyone but a
few key cabinet members of FDRs who warned that American Fascists like Prescott Bush (actually named as a fascist by the U.S. Government) were more
likely to destroy the U.S. from within without warlike tendencies until they were secure. And there was this little thing called Paperclip that
brought Nazis (type of Fascist) into key scientific and espionage positions within the USA. Strange? I would consider that a threat.
Remember McCarthy? Well, I'm saddened so many library's forgot the lessons of that era. Most librarians who were alive then had policies of
immediately shredding all materials related to who had borrowed a book as soon as the book was returned. You see, the FBI would come in and take
those lending lists to go after communists. Sound familiar? So, that isn't new either.
Move into the 1960s and you have such groups as The Weatherman, The Silesian Army, etc. All domestic terrorists. Oh, let's not forget the folks who
were working for Civil Rights! They were domestic terrorists to the powers-that-be and they were secretly investigated by Hoover's FBI. (This is
the same era when the Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines and NSA were experimenting on servicemen with drugs and with mind control.)
Jumping to the 1970s you had COINTELPRO. Remember those hearings? The ones that spotlighted all the abuses of law enforcement? Remember that
congress then passed all kinds of laws that got rid of those abilities? FBI, CIA, and other powers did not like that and you know they started
working to get those powers back. RICO was the first thing they got Congress to agree to. Allows them all kinds of secrecy in investigations.
Ok, somehow, purer and more potent drugs started appearing in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Law enforcement started going on about how they needed
laws to deal with this new threat - nothing like the Prohibition era. Where did these drugs come from? Many of which had been legal before big
Pharma and the American Medical Association (violators of anti-Trust law, both) got involved. They claimed they need the 4th Amendment suspended so
that if they just find an illegal drug on you you can lose EVERYTHING YOU OWN with no appeal. The cowards on the U.S. Supreme Court have ruled this
constitutional. Sad, no patriots there.
This was a steady decline. And there is a second item that occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s - processing power on computers increased and
the introduction of personal computers. Ok, I have been an IT professional most of my professional life, and I wouldn't trust ANYTHING in a computer
database. Humans put that info in and it is less than 100% correct. Your life can be ruined from a typo with the way things are going.
Today we have the U.S. Patriot Act - an amalgamation of all the worst laws in our history. We also have a group of power-mad Congress Critters on the
Republican side and no Patriots with any power on the Democratic side. Independents don't play in as they can't win in most states outside of
Vermont. (Vermont seems to be special. And clean elections are a myth.) We are also cursed with a Supreme Court filled with those having no respect
for the U.S. Constitution as shown in the 2000 election. Granted, the likelihood was high the new congress would have voted Bush in, but it should
have been Congress to do it - not the court. Their actions are treasonous to my mind and they should be duly dealt with under the law.
For these reasons I find the Patriot Act to be an abomination to any true patriot. It is an unconstitutional piece of dreck whose authors should be
tried for treason. As should every Congress Critter that voted for it!
Granted, I forgot lots of posts, but my hands are getting tired. :-)